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HRW: Unfortunately Other Bahrainis didnít Benefit from Sports Mobilization in Al-Araibiís Case, Returned to Torture

2019-02-13 - 8:12 p

Bahrain Mirror: Hakeem Al-Araibi's release shows the power of collective action by athletes, governments, nongovernmental organizations, United Nations agencies, players' unions, and sports federations to address rights issues, Human Rights Watch said

It said "unfortunately, other Bahrainis who did not benefit from the urgent mobilization of the global sports and human rights community have been returned to reportedly face torture and mistreatment. Other refugees in Thailand, notably ethnic Uyghurs from China, have been forcibly returned to face a real risk of torture and persecution."

"Hakeem Al-Araibi is a refugee whose detention and threatened deportation was a grave injustice," said Minky Worden, director of global initiatives. "FIFA and the IOC deserve credit for applying their new human rights policies to help gain Al-Araibi's release and his return home to Australia."

"Hakeem Al-Araibi's freedom was secured with strong pressure from athletes, FIFA, the IOC, and the global rights movement," Worden said. "But Al-Araibi's case has also spotlighted gaps in FIFA's system of human rights protections, and the need to ensure that human rights policies and practices are fully implemented."

"FIFA and the IOC are starting to understand that sports federations' interests align with rights defenders and the victims of abuses," Worden said. "This case should encourage FIFA to tackle other serious human rights abuses in the world of football, including to stop sexual and other abuse in the sport."

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